Key ways to make your small business more transparent

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By Robert Hall

If there is one word you want people to associate with your business, it should be “dependable.” Building trust is critical if you want to have any sustained success in your given industry. Whether you provide goods, services or some combination of the two, what you’re really selling is the idea that customers can count on you to come through time and again. However, it is virtually impossible to accomplish this unless you make transparency one of your core values.

Being open and honest in all your interactions with customers — externally and internally — is essential if you want to cultivate a strong relationship with them. If you’re a business professional who fails to make transparency a high priority, you are in danger of losing customers and frustrating your employees.
Building a culture of transparency is important if you want to be known as dependable and trustworthy. Fortunately, this is not as daunting a task as it may seem. All it takes is the right attitude and a commitment to living it in every aspect of your business.

Being transparent with your customers

Nothing is more frustrating to customers than feeling as though their vendors have left them high and dry. This means it is up to you to ensure the lines of communication remain open. Whether you’re answering the phone, keeping up with emails or providing up-to-the-minute automated GPS tracking of your deliveries, just staying in touch can go a long way.

While you’re communicating with your customers, it is also important to remember that you should be honest with them and own up to your mistakes. Trying to spin your way out of an awkward situation can have disastrous consequences for your business in the long-term. Even though you may have to do some smoothing over as a result of admitting a mistake, your clients will be much more likely to stick with you if you take the high road.

Building an internal culture of transparency

Of course, it’s hard to be open and honest with your customers if your company’s internal culture doesn’t value transparency. As a leader, it is up to you to make sure these values are baked into everything you do.

You can achieve this by establishing an open-door policy, which encourages your team members to come directly to you with any concerns or questions. During meetings, you should make sure everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas without fear of being dismissed or disrespected.
As is the case with all relationships, honesty is key when dealing with your staff. This means avoiding corporate jargon whenever possible and giving them the unvarnished truth, even if you’re sharing bad news.

No company wants to be perceived as untrustworthy or shady, and that means you need to make transparency one of your highest priorities. To learn more about how you can take steps to enhance transparency with all your stakeholders, check out the accompanying resource.

Robert Hall is president and senior engineer for Track Your Truck, a commercial vehicle GPS tracking company. He has extensive business experience in the wireless communications industry and focuses on RF system engineering, RF communications engineering, GPS tracking and IoT. He also has significant experience in software engineering and development, systems integration, server systems management, carrier operations, and business management.

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